Oct 11, 2012

Waiting for the Heli... and Mojitos.... club sandwiches, showers and warmth!

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the houseNot a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
(Clement Clarke Moore (1779 - 1863)

If we were to re-write this little Christmas tale based on Makalu 'dreams' it would read something like:

'Twas the night before departure from Makalu BC, when in all of the tents
Not a climber was stirring, not even a rat;
The boots and bags were lined up on the heli-pad with care,
In the hopes that the Fishtail Air helicopter soon would be there;

The climbers were nestled all snug in their -30 degree sleeping bag beds,
While visions of mojitos, showers, beds, and club sandwiches danced in their heads;
With Sherpas camped in their down, and us in our caps,
Had just settled down for what we hoped would be our final Makalu BC nap....

I would go on but will spare you the rhyme...!!

To make a relatively short story (but long day!) short, last night we crawled into our sleeping bags under a clear starry sky with visions of helicopters, hot showers, real beds and mojitos dancing in our heads…. Unfortunately, as fate would have it and thanks to the weather gods we’d have a few more days to wait..! We woke up at 6am to hot tea and a very quick pack of our gear – cramming wet sleeping bags into kit bags constantly keeping an eye on the horizon and ears alert waiting for the heli. 

And that was the consistent theme for the day...!

In spite of the clouds, we never lost hope and sat, ears alert, eyes straining on the horizon on the Makalu Base Camp heli-pad, praying for a small ‘break’ in the cloud allowing our long-awaited Fishtail air pilot to find the little hole in the cloud to bring us to the mojito, swimming pool, club sandwich, bed dreams.

We waited, wrapped in our sleeping bags, talking about club sandwiches, showers, mojitos, beds, pools, clean clothes, warmth from about 7am - 4pm when we finally accepted the inevitable (eg. we couldn't see the sky anymore and it was bloody freezing!) and dejectedly crawled back to camp and into our tents staring at the ever ominous Makalu (and the MASSIVE spin drift blowing from the summit!)

Clearly Mother Nature wanted us to enjoy the stunning views of Makalu Base Camp just.... a ... little.... longer.... and it would make enjoying the creature comforts of Kathmandu even sweeter when we finally arrived..!

We crawled into bed feeling optimistic about tomorrow! May the gods of blue skies look favourably upon us!!


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